From the looks of the calendar, Vince Carter is in the twilight of his NBA career.
But don’t ask the Dallas Mavericks’ small forward if he’s thought about retiring and hanging up his high-flying sneakers. Although he is in the last year of his contract, Carter, who turns 37 on Jan. 26, doesn’t have a timetable for ending his career.
“I don’t want to do that to myself,” Carter said after Thursday morning’s practice. “I don’t want to limit myself. I think doing that you’ll start thinking about [retirement] as the season goes on. I’ll just let the body pretty much dictate how I’m feeling in the end.”
Carter acknowledged that his body is telling him that he’s got a few more years left to play. Especially after he averaged a solid 13.4 points — mostly off the bench — in just 26 minutes per game last season.
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Additionally, coach Rick Carlisle said that Carter, who is entering his 16th season, addresses a lot of his team’s pertinent needs, particularly from a leadership standpoint.
“It’s not just his scoring and spectacular plays,” Carlisle said. “It’s what his presence on the floor means.”
Carter is fueled this season by the fact that the Mavs failed to make the playoffs last year. He added that his approach to the game — golden years or not — is the same as it was going into last season.
“The same type of routine in the off-season,” Carter said. “I’ll be a year older, but I don’t feel a year older, so that’s a good thing.”
Fans will get their first look at the new-look Mavericks when the team hosts its annual Mavstoberfest with events planned for almost all-day Friday.
The Mavericks will hold their Blue-White game at 6:30 tonight p.m. Friday at American Airlines Center, and fans can get a look at newcomers Monta Ellis, Jose Calderon and Samuel Dalembert. Before that, the doors will open at 4 p.m. so fans can get autographs and photos with the Mavericks Dancers and ManiAACs.
Mavericks legends Derek Harper, Brad Davis and Rolando Blackman will also be available to sign autographs.
In addition, a Select-A-Seat event will occur from 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Prospective season ticket holders can sit in the seat they potentially will purchase for the upcoming season.
The Mavericks will also host an autograph session for season ticket holders at 5 p.m.
When the Mavericks are scanning the free-agent wires looking for talent, it stands to reason that they’re thinking about how a particular player would play alongside superstar forward Dirk Nowitzki.
“It’s a factor, I suppose,” Rick Carlisle said. “But we have a history of guys that have played well with him in two-man situations.”
O.J. Mayo didn’t fare too well last year in his bid to become Robin to Nowitzki’s Batman. Now it’s Monta Ellis’ turn.
Ellis is brash, very talented and extremely fast. Plus he has the tools to make Nowitzki the Mavericks’ second-best player, which is what this franchise wants to happen.
“Monta seems like an obvious guy from all those perspectives,” Carlisle said. “But the truth is any player that plays with Dirk Nowitzki is going to be better.”